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Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub

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Jan 8, 2022

Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub is the first mixtape by American artist Santigold (then going by Santogold) and Philadelphia-based DJDiplo, released on July 15, 2008.[1]

“Top Ranking” redirects here. For the song, see 23 (Blonde Redhead album).
2008 mixtape by Santigold & Diplo
Top Ranking
Mixtape by

Released July 15, 2008
Genre Hip hop, dub, electronic, post-punk, reggae, psychedelic, mash-up
Label Mad Decent
Producer Diplo, Santi White
Santigold chronology
Santogold
(2008)
Top Ranking
(2008)
Master of My Make-Believe
(2012)
Diplo chronology
I Like Turtles
(2007)
Top Ranking
(2008)
Decent Work for Decent Pay
(2009)

. . . Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub . . .

Top Ranking features remixes of songs from Santogold’s debut album, as well as remixes of other artists. Santogold also has previously unreleased songs on the mixtape, including a cover of The Clash‘s “The Guns of Brixton“, with lyrics altered to refer to Brooklyn.[2] “Guns of Brooklyn” and “Get It Up”, a collaboration with M.I.A. that heavily samples Gorilla Zoe‘s “Hood Nigga“, were leaked to the blogosphere prior to the mixtape’s release.[2][3][4] An alternate version of “Get It Up” featuring Esau Mwamwaya rather than Gorilla Zoe also appeared on the internet.[5] The album was released for a short period of time on the internet as a free download.[6]

The Diplo remix of “I’m a Lady”, which features Amanda Blank, was later included in its entirety on Blank’s 2009 album I Love You.

After taking inspiration from a Siouxsie and the Banshees song for her track “My Superman” on her debut album,[7] Santogold sampled for this mix tape another song of their Kaleidoscope, “Lunar Camel”.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Exclaim! (positive)[8]
NME (8/10)[9]
Rolling Stone [10]
Pitchfork Media (8.0/10.0)[11]
Slant Magazine [12]

The mixtape has received comparisons to M.I.A. and Diplo’s 2004 mixtape, Piracy Funds Terrorism.[3][13] However, Pitchfork Media stated that “the similarities between this collaboration and Diplo’s first– 2004’s M.I.A.-trumpeting Piracy Funds Terrorism mix– are as superficial as those between M.I.A. and Santogold themselves.”[14] According to NME, Top Ranking “expands on her [Santogold’s] debut’s cultural crossover”, incorporating “hyphy, crunk, classic dub and new wave”.[15] The review continued that the mixtape “is a must-have” either “as a standalone mixtape or a perfect companion to Santogold“.[15]Exclaim! said that Top Ranking “showcases Santogold’s steeze and flexibility as an MC/singer.”[16] They praised Diplo’s “global and eclectic” production, calling Top Ranking “a top-notch mixtape that will hopefully find its way up from the underground.”[16]Idolator labelled the disc “an entertaining listen, with most of the disparate influences that influence Santogold’s debut appearing in one form or another.”[17]Slant Magazine said that “Top Ranking’s hotness can’t—and shouldn’t—be downplayed”, but also that it doesn’t distinguish itself from Piracy Funds Terrorism and that “Santogold’s unique essence feels lost amid the clutter.”[18]

Top Ranking was named one of 2008’s five best mixtapes by The Guardian.[19] The publication also named the Diplo Remix of “I’m a Lady” featuring Amanda Blank one of the “singles” of the year.[20]

. . . Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub . . .

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. . . Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub . . .